I'm stepping across to the dark side

After decades of paddling mostly kayaks, today I picked up a used 13’ Grumman canoe. The price, size and timing was right, so I pounced. I’ll likely mostly be using for solo day trips, but it’s nice being able to have my wife join me.

It appears to be a pre-HIN boat, and I only got a quick fuzzy pic of the SN plate after unloading it from the car tonight. The serial # appears to be 3033-G-5-13. from some quick web searches about Grumman serial numbers, I found one suggestion that the “-G-” somehow means 1960. Most of the capacity plate is either too worn or corroded to be legible, but I can make out the weight limit of 590 lbs.

I noticed what appear to be a couple of attachment tabs (?) on the inside keel, each maybe a quarter or a third of the way from the ends. Any idea what they’re for (other than banging toes)?

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On some part of sail kit. Even though none ever installed.

Does your 13 have a thwart right behind the front seat? My 15’ does and depending on you weight, if you try to paddle it from the rear seat you might find the bow way higher that you are comfortable with without putting a bunch of weight up there to counter it. I turn mine around and paddle it backwards, but that thwart hits you right in the back of the thigh. Fortunately Grumman canoes are super well made and the thwart is attached with machine screws. My Gunwhales are actually threaded (10/32) so there are no nuts to lose when I remove it.
Mine has the sail kit hardware too and I have looked for the kit, but there are pricey if you can find one.

Nope, just the single thwart in the center, so paddling backwards from the front seat shouldn’t be a problem. I was thinking I might prefer kneeling instead of sitting, but I’m not sure my knee could take it for very long.

Anyhow, I was able to get some daylight pics of the boat. Looks to me (with my uneducated eye) to be in decent shape, with only minor dents.

Now you have a rock boat.
Canoes make camping, sitting, and bringing dogs easy.

Looks just fine, but getting it wet will remove all doubt. Mine sits idle most of the year, Here it is performing its yearly task as a a buffet table for our Dutch Oven Cook Off. The one thing that an aluminum boat can do that no other can!


From my viewpoint moving from a kayak to a canoe is not # stepping across to the dark side
Now if you were moving from a kayak to golfing, that would be a dark side move. Others will disagree strongly with my view, but I live in Idaho and we can say whatever we want.


Exactly. In the sailing world the “dark side” is moving to a powerboat. A canoe is definitely OK!


Dutch ovens and wall tent next Tuesday. Chance of snow.

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Maybe I can use mine as a staging table for my smoker. Got some ribs that need cooking…

I vaguely remember an old discussion on a different paddling forum talking about paddling kayaks or canoes (don’t remember which) being the “dark side”. I agree that golfing or operating a loud noisemaker on watercraft is the darkside, though I have been guilty of the latter at times. Hard to waterski behind a kayak.

There is nothing dark about canoes. They are the North American water craft and have made the longest voyages across the Continent in history.

Kayaks are also native craft, but mostly used on the Coast.


Looks like you have a piece of history there.

It is also great you are planning on using it. Don’t know your weight or how much gear you may carry solo to balance it out with you sitting backwards from the bow seat, but my guess having just gone thru this with a 14’7” canoe is you will still be a little light in the new bow. Kneeling closer to the center thwart will be much better is what I found. I also found my knees can no longer take kneeling for more than a few minutes.

Where you will likely want to be is right where that thwart will be a shin problem.

My canoe was much newer (20 years old) and I had nothing to lose moving stuff around after we tried it as a tandem once and she declared “I want to go with you but want my own boat”. In your case being a foot and a half shorter you may find the same true. The short canoes really are tight in the bow.

If you decide to make it a solo I would retain all the original parts so it could be easily put back to a tandem. That’s what I did and I could make it stock in half an hour if needed.
It will also take some weight out.

Let us know how it works and glad you came over to the light side. :canoe: :wink:

I started on the light side but then bought one canoe and built 2 more from plans. I’m back to kayaks but am considering a canoe.Again.

an Alu canoe not only is a table but also makes a dandy lobster pot for a large group.

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Don’t think I’ll be boiling any water in the canoe for now. :wink:

I’ve toyed with the idea of building a SOF boat, and the Cape Falcon canoe was one that looked interesting. What did you build?

I built a SOF for my grandson with plans from Yost works. The canoe plans came from a guy whose business was called JEM water works. A smaller canoe called Swamp Girl. He designed and I built a larger canoe we called The Big Honking Canoe.

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Today I took the canoe out for the first time on a slow moving familiar stream. It’s a lot more work than paddling my 17’ Sea Lion kayak! Actually, it was even more work than paddling my 9’ high-rocker Dagger RPM whitewater boat up stream. I’m sure part of that is technique and the wrong size paddle that the seller threw in with the canoe. Well, I knew it wasn’t a performance boat when I bought it.

Surprisingly, it wasn’t as noisy as I expected. I put two of those interlocking foam floor pads down just behind the bow seat and paddled from there, or kneeling in front of it and that seemed to silence it quite a bit. There were no leaks at all which is kinda nice. If I can master the J-stroke with a right-sized paddle, I might be able to do a whole trip with it bone dry inside.

I got to test out my new line cutter cleaning some fishing line from the trees (none wrapped around my neck this time thankfully). It’s amazingly sharp - cuts even with no tension or weight on the line. So far, I’m really liking it. I also picked up a couple souvenirs from the trip as well. Couldn’t easily have grabbed them with any of my kayaks.

Great day to be out on the river.


I started in canoeing as a youth,disappeared down the white water/sea kayaking rabbit hole during my 20/30s and eventually found my way back to canoes. The call of the single blade was just too strong. I still kayak a few times a year but it’s mostly a wave game on Ontario for me now with a couple distance paddles thrown in

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